Harrowing account of HTMS Sukhothai’s last moments posted on Facebook by 'friend of survivor'


Before the HTMS Sukhothai corvette capsized in the Gulf of Thailand last Sunday night, cracks were seen on the port side of its hull near a gun bay, a retired naval commander quoted a survivor as saying.

Strong waves sent seawater gushing in through the cracked hull, former commander Kritdecha Sweyanont wrote on Facebook. He said he was quoting Lieutenant Junior Grade Sayan Kitkiat who was on the ship that night.

Kritdecha said Sayan explained what happened on the vessel during a “homecoming” get-together with friends earlier on Saturday. Kritdecha said they had been colleagues before he retired from the navy.

He quoted his former colleague as saying that the HTMS Sukhothai started to tilt to the left before it sank. Next, all three power generators and one emergency generator stopped working, which caused the main engine to fail and control of the ship to be lost, Kritdecha said.

Some members of the crew hesitated before jumping off the ship, he said.
Many of those who jumped into the sea said they felt “strong suction” and tried to hold on to each other to keep from drowning, he said.

Harrowing account of HTMS Sukhothai’s last moments posted on Facebook by \'friend of survivor\'

The ship’s commander was the last to leave the HTMS Sukhothai, Kritdecha said.

Kritdecha is now head of disaster prevention and mitigation at the Ang Thong Tambon Administrative Organisation in Prachuap Khiri Khan’s Thap Sakae district.

The warship sank off Prachuap Khiri Khan with 105 people on board as it was patrolling in rough seas.

Seventy-six sailors were rescued and 14 bodies have been recovered, eight of which have been officially confirmed as being crewmen from the ship.